BSc in Biomedical Science

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Taught by experts who cover all the major disciplines of biomedical science, you will follow a broad curriculum in the first and second year, with the exciting opportunity in the second year to work on a topic of particular interest to you.

BSc Biomedical Science explores the science of the human body and the causes of diseases that affect mankind. Based in Birmingham Medical School, our broad programme explores the major body systems right down to the cellular and molecular level and is constantly updated to reflect the latest developments in the field. You’ll learn from experts who carry out fundamental scientific and medical research in these areas, at the University of Birmingham.

Working in our state-of-the-art laboratories, you will find out how research translates into advances in clinical practice. You’ll explore emerging fields such as stem cell therapies and also learn more about major disorders like cancer and arthritis. You'll also have the opportunity to take an optional placement year, which you can spend working in industry or a clinical setting. You may also have access to financial support to take on summer projects in the College’s own active research laboratories.

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

First and second year – broad foundations of knowledge

The first two years of the course builds a detailed understanding of how the human body functions and what can go wrong in disease. The content extends from the single cell to the whole body. You’ll begin to learn about major pathologies such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, arthritis and diabetes, and the genetic basis of inherited disorders.

All students take a common set of key subjects which will provide you with the core knowledge to understand the importance of each of the major disciplines of medical science. This forms a strong foundation for your final year. In addition, throughout the course you’ll develop core research skills, such as data analysis and interpretation, helping you develop an understanding of the key ethical and social issues surrounding medical science.

In the second year, there will be an opportunity to specialise in a scientific area of your choice, linked to our College major research themes. This student selected component will allow an in-depth exploration of the area under the guidance of one of our subject experts. The themes will include cancer, neuroscience, infection and immunity, pharmacology and cardiovascular science. This will provide a platform for further specialisation in your third year.

At the end of your second year, there is the possibility of taking a year out to gain work experience, by securing a placement in, for example, the pharmaceutical industry. You may also opt to undertake a summer research project within the College, for which funding is available.

Third year – follow your interest

During the first term of your final year, you specialise by selecting two taught options from over 20 specialist modules in a wide range of subject areas, including different aspects of neuroscience, cancer, virology, cardiovascular science, pharmacology, endocrinology, stem cell biology, ageing and immunology. You’ll learn about the latest findings and be exposed to advanced research techniques, guided by internationally recognised experts in these fields.

These taught options lead on to a substantial research project in the spring term, which in the majority of cases is laboratory-based specifically within one of our leading research-active laboratories. You’ll work independently, under supervision, for ten weeks full-time on an original piece of research, acquiring and analysing your own data. The project develops and enhances not just your practical and analytical abilities, but also a range of other skills that will be a key to success in whatever career path you choose.

Entry requirements

  • Number of A levels required: 3
  • Typical offer: AAB or ABB + A in Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). Our Unconditional Offer Scheme is available to outstanding applicants.
  • Required subjects and grades: Two science A-levels from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, or Physics; GCSE grade B in Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry (or double award science) if not offered at a higher level.
  • General Studies: not accepted as part of the minimum of 3 A-Level subjects.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma: Overall score of 32 points, with minimum grades of 6, 6, 5 in higher-level subjects, to include at least two sciences (from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics – Maths Studies is excluded).

BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma not accepted.

Offers are not made on the basis of tariff points. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted as part of the minimum of three A level subjects.

Scottish Certificate of Education and Irish Leaving Certificate: Please contact Admissions Tutors for further information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: Overall score of 32 points, with minimum grades of 6, 6, 5 in higher-level subjects, to include at least two sciences (from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics – Maths Studies is excluded).

International students

We welcome applications from students from the EU and overseas. Standard English language requirements apply. We do not consider any BTEC qualifications. Please contact Admissions Tutors for further information.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities.

Employability

Our Biomedical Science graduates have an excellent record of employment in a wide variety of careers. Many embark on laboratory work in universities, often in PhD positions, hospitals, as clinical scientists and biotechnology companies. Other degree-related careers include work in clinical trials, and in marketing and management in biotechnology companies.

The skills that you will acquire on the course are highly transferable, making it the ideal preparation for many other high-profile careers, such as teaching, accountancy, law and banking, as well as management positions in a variety of companies.

Up to ten of our graduate students will be considered for a guaranteed interview for our medicine course. The success rate of those gaining an interview was 70%, 40%, 43%, 50% and 70% in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham is a major international centre for research and education in medicine, medical sciences, dentistry, nursing and physiotherap ... Read More

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham is a major international centre for research and education in medicine, medical sciences, dentistry, nursing and physiotherapy. Read less